• Business Resources

  • Labor Resources Labor Resources

    In the Workplace/Labor Resources:

    New I-9 Policy Due to COVID-19

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a temporary policy to allow employers to accept expired List B documents when completing the Form I-9 beginning May 1. This policy is intended to account for the fact that many people are unable to renew their driver’s licenses or state ID cards at this time due to stay-at-home orders. While some states have extended the expiration of driver’s licenses and state identification cards, which are common List B documents, others have not. The temporary policy addresses both situations.

    Employers are required to complete an employee’s Form I-9 within three days of their first day of work. The DHS has temporarily suspended the physical presence requirement for fully remote workplaces. Additional information is available in Comply here.

    Helpful questions and answers on temporary I-9 and E-Verify policies have been created by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and are available here

    Guidelines and recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help companies prepare for and respond to coronavirus in the workplace can be found here.

    The Department of Labor has a frequently asked questions page about how the public health emergency affects labor rules and regulations.

    The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

    - A fact sheet for employers can be found here.

    - Common questions and answers can be found here.

  • Additional Resources

  • Healthcare Healthcare

    If you are not feeling well, have flu-like symptoms, or suspect you may have been in contact with someone else who is exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, we advise you to call your Primary Care Provider’s office to seek guidance on what steps to take.

     

    Jefferson County Pharmacies

    Click here to see a full listing of local pharmacies offering delivery or pickup options.

    Fort Atkinson Pharmacies

    - Hometown Pharmacy: curbside pickup and free delivery

    - Walgreens: drive-thru pickup and next day delivery via FedEx

     

    Fort Healthcare

    Fort HealthCare is also offering screenings through e+Care online health careDue to the highly contagious nature of this disease, it is not advised that you seek care at a hospital emergency department unless you are advised to do so by your healthcare provider.

    SSM Health

    SSM Health is offering Free Virtual Evaluations in the communities that they serve, which includes Fort Atkinson.

    UW Health

    UW Health has an information hotline people can call:

    (608) 720-5300

    8am-11pm, Mon-Fri
    7am-11pm, Sat-Sun

     

    Jefferson County Offering Digital Behavioral Health

    Jefferson County is offering the online myStrength program for free to its residents. The program provides digital behavioral health solutions to empower individuals with engaging, clinically-proven resources.

    There is also now a newly-released module specifically to help individuals with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Click here to access the myStrengh website.
    Click here to sign-up.
    Enter "JeffersonCounty" as the access code

     

    The module addresses issues such as depression, stress, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and more. Please utilize this FREE tool to help take care of your mental health needs! 

     

    Hopeline - Free Text-Based Emotional Support Service

    Text HOPELINE to 741741 - from anywhere, anytime, about any challenge or struggle. Help and hope is just a text away.

    Jefferson County Health Department

    The Jefferson County Health Department’s website provides local information and resources for businesses and community members regarding the COVID-19 disease, including their priority areas for staying up to date on the subject, as well as suggestions for what you can do to stay safe and prevent the spread of the disease.

    According to their site, the JCHD aims to prevent the spread of illness among the public by offering educational resources, communicable disease surveillance, and investigation when needed. Since January, their public health professionals have been hard at work preparing for and monitoring the coronavirus.

    CDC: Preventing Spread

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Financial Relief Financial Relief

     
     
    This new $349 billion lending program would be modeled after the Small Business Administration (SBA) existing 7(a) loan program, but would have a 100% federal government loan guarantee (as opposed to 75% currently). The loan eligibility criteria is as follows:
    • Must be a small business as defined by the SBA (typically less than 500 employees, but various by business sector)
    • Businesses in the Accommodation and Food Services Sector (NAICS Code 72) are eligible with up to 500 employees at each location.
    • Non-profits with a 501 (c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees are eligible.
    • Sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors are also eligible.
     
    The requirement that a borrower cannot find credit elsewhere is waived, and all lenders can provide loans. Not personal guarantee or collateral is required. Lender would defer fees, principal and interest for at least 6 months, and up to 1 year.
     
     

    Kiva is an international nonprofit with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. on Kiva.org for the last 10 years. In today’s difficult circumstances, we’d like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform—capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.
     

    Keeping Connected:

    A number of telecommunications providers are offering free or low-cost internet access options for businesses affected by the pandemic. For more information, see the Wisconsin Public Service Commission website.

    IRS Tax Relief

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a dedicated site with information for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more here

    Randy Schopen Foundation Grant Program

    Grants will be provided to businesses and individuals in need through the application process on the Randy Schopen Web site. The Foundation reserves the right to accept or deny any applications based on internal criteria that the Foundation so deems. Amounts granted will be at the sole discretion of the Foundation depending on the need and number of applications received. Typically, the Foundation’s mission is to continue to support purposes that Randy Schopen would have supported.

    Consideration for Preference – Applications will be considered for all of those in need. Preference will be given to those that meet the following criteria.

    • Individuals or businesses in the Jefferson Community Foundation service area.
    • Families with children under 18 years age.
    • Senior Citizens or individuals with special health needs.
    • Those that have been displaced or lost employment in the service sector. Particularly those that have worked in the restaurant and bar business.

    The application process will have the option for the applicant to request funds confidentially for those with personal needs.

     

    Local Financial Institution Updates

    Badger Bank (920) 563-2478
    A full list of resources is available here: https://www.badgerbank.bank/notice-details.html
     
    Fort Community Credit Union – FCCU (920) 563-7305
    A full list of resources is available here: https://www.fortcommunity.com/notice-details.html
     
    Johnson Financial Group 920.568.5660
     
    PremierBank (920) 563-6616
    Visit their website here: https://www.bankwithpremier.com/
     

    Direct Contacts at Local Financial Institutions

    Business & Tax Systems: Taylor Smithyman
    - Phone: 920-563-8089
     
    FCCU: Joni Lundin   
    - Phone: 920-563-7305
     
    Johnson Financial Group: Robert Cassiday
    - Phone: 920.568.5650   
     
    SBDC at UW-Whitewater: Kevin Kaufman
    - Phone: 262-472-1689

                  

    Meal Locations Meal Locations

    Fort Atkinson Food Pantry

    The Fort Atkinson Food Pantry is open during regular distribution hours of 3:00 to 5:30 PM on Mondays and Thursdays at the 715 Jones Avenue location. Their priorities are to continue to provide food to those in need while protecting clients and volunteers. To accomplish this they are changing their procedures to limit the number of clients in the food pantry at one time. They will be handing out numbers on a first come basis, but be prepared to wait outside or in cars until your number is admitted. Arriving later during the serving hours may avoid the initial crowd. Everyone will be able to get food. They are also requiring the use of hand sanitizer in the pantry and disinfecting surfaces frequently.

    The Food Pantry realizes that some people may be temporarily out of work during this crisis. People who currently have no income or meet our low income guidelines and need help to provide enough food for themselves or their families are encouraged to seek assistance at the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry supplies supplemental food once per month per family. If your family requires additional food assistance before the end of the month, please call (920) 563-6992 and leave a message. If you are sick or vulnerable to the coronavirus please don’t come to the pantry building. They have a small program of delivery to those in need. Please text or leave a message at (920) 397-0140 if you want more information about the delivery program. The Fort Atkinson Food Pantry serves those who reside in the School District of Fort Atkinson. Residents of other school districts should call their local pantries.

     

    Click here to order online.

     

    Contact Information: ​(920) 563-6992, info@fortatkinsonfoodpantry.org

    715 Jones Avenue
    P. O. Box 275
    Fort Atkinson, WI 53538  

    Feed Your Soul - First United Methodist Church

    Feed Your Soul meals will be available for TAKEOUT ONLY on Thursday afternoons, starting March 26.

    You must call to schedule your pick up time  --   this will help manage the flow of traffic and keep the social distance that is necessary!

    Call Jen at (920) 650-8288.

    What you need to know:

    •       Meals will be entrée only

    •       Meals will be available on Thursday afternoons – by appointment only. 

    •       People wanting a meal should call Jen at (920) 650-8288 to schedule pick up.

    •       Meals will be brought out to cars, they will not have anyone coming inside to pick up.

    Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Jefferson County

    Fully Cooked Meals Delivered to Your Door

    Home Delivered Groceries & Meals

    Jefferson County Human Services Foodshare Program

    1.888.794.5780

    Unemployment Unemployment

    How to apply for unemployment in Wisconsin if you get laid off because of the coronavirus - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information - Frequently Asked Questions - Department of Workforce Development

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act - U.S. Dept of Labor Wage and Hour Division

     

    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)Department of Workforce Development

    PUA is a federal benefit available to workers who are unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not qualify for Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI). This includes:

    • Independent contractors
    • Self-employed workers
    • Non-profit employees
    • Part-time workers who do not have enough work history to be eligible for a claim

    Ways to Help Ways to Help

    A fund to support non-profits who had to spend money in an extraordinary fashion to support our community during this crisis. by the Community Foundation, up to $50,000.


    A fund to assist families with rent, utilities, and food costs


    The Foundation will accept donations from individuals and business that are able to contribute to help supplement the grant and meal programs.

    Donations can be made on the Randy Schopen Foundation Website or be sent to : 

    Randy Schopen Foundation
    148 E Milwaukee St.
    Jefferson, WI 53549

    715 Jones Avenue (adjacent to Jones Market)

    Open Mondays and Thursdays for donations from 9:00am – 11:00am.




          

  • Business Disruption Plan 

    Our employees and their families need to be safe. They also need jobs. How we as a community respond impacts both.

    Your employees may not be elderly, have a chronic underlying condition (lung or heart disease or diabetes), or have a compromised immune system... But they may be the caregiver for someone who does.

    Having a plan ensures your employees that you are acting in their best interest as well as the company’s.

  • Stage 1: Have a Plan Stage 1: Have a Plan

    Create a Business Continuity Plan.

    Conduct a focused discussion on your plan. Share it with your employees. Explain HR policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits available to them. This plan helps workplaces map out how to provide essential services if a number of employees are sick or unavailable. Be sure your employees know what is expected of them. Your goal is to:

    1. Reduce transmission among staff
    2. Protect people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications
    3. Maintain business operations, and
    4. Minimize effects on other entities in your supply chain (vendors).

    Ensure sick employees stay home.

    Sick employees should not come to work. If employees come to work with symptoms, ask them to go home. Offer paid sick leave so staff do not have to decide between a paycheck and working while sick. Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare providers may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

    Prepare staff to work from home.

    Equip staff with laptops and supplies needed to work from home. Cancel non-essential business travel, use conference calls and video conferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings when possible.

    Increase social distancing in the workplace.

    Avoid crowded work settings, cancel business-related face-to-face meetings, space employees farther apart, cancel non-essential travel, promote working from home, and use staggered shifts to have fewer employees in the workplace at the same time.

    Offer flexible leave policies.

    Staff may need to stay home to care for sick household members or for children if schools are canceled. Make plans for staff to work from home or take leave.

    Keep a well-stocked supply of tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Place them in easy to access spots.

    Encourage employees to keep these items at their desks too. CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.

    Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other work areas where they are likely to be seen.

    Work with your cleaning staff to make sure workspaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently and correctly.

    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

    In businesses, custodial staff should use disinfectants and sanitizers regularly only in high-risk areas – bathrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, shared workstations; preferably, when employees are not present. Follow the disinfectant/sanitizer label directions; overuse does not provide any additional protection and can expose employees to harmful chemicals. Follow the label directions. If disinfecting is targeted against a microbe causing a specific illness (e.g. influenza, Norovirus, COVID-19, etc.) then use an EPA registered disinfectant that is certified as effective against that organism. The Selected EPA – Registered Disinfectants webpage list is located here. >>

    Stage 2: Share Best Practices Stage 2: Share Best Practices

    Your company’s plan is only as strong

    • as your neighboring company
    • your personal neighbor
    • your customers and vendors entering your business
    • your supply chain (if they can’t operate, you can’t operate),
    • your spouse and their employer, and
    • the greater community.

    Please share your plan with us, your Chamber of Commerce, and your vendors. Click here to email us >>

    Stage 3: COVID Suspected, In, or Near the Workplace Stage 3: COVID Suspected, In, or Near the Workplace

    [Applies only to a non-healthcare workplace]

    Positive Testing Employee

    If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they should remain under home isolation precautions for 7 days OR until 72 hours after fever is gone and symptoms get better, whichever is longer. Inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

    Sick Employee, Not-Positive-COVID-19

    If an employee has had a fever with cough or shortness of breath but has not been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and has not tested positive for COVID-19, they should stay home away from others until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms get better.

    Employee Sick at Work

    CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

    Well-Employee But Positive-COVID-19 Family Member

    The employee should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. Family medical leave or other legal contracts may apply.

    Employee Returned from a  COVID-19-spreading area

    The employee should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day. If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever they should stay at home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (three feet or nearer) with other people, including family members. They should also call their healthcare provider or the local public health department, giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.

    Stage 4: Outbreak Response Stage 4: Outbreak Response

    • Identify possible work-related exposure and health risks to your employees. OSHA has more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures to COVID-19.
    • Review human resources policies to make sure that policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations and are consistent with existing state and federal workplace laws (for more information on employer responsibilities, visit the Department of Labor’s and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s websites).
    • Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies. For employees who are able to telework, supervisors should encourage employees to telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved. Ensure that you have the information technology and infrastructure needed to support multiple employees who may be able to work from home.
    • Identify essential business functions, essential jobs or roles, and critical elements within your supply chains (e.g., raw materials, suppliers, subcontractor services/products, and logistics) required to maintain business operations. Plan for how your business will operate if there is increasing absenteeism or these supply chains are interrupted.
    • Set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company’s infectious disease outbreak response plan, altering business operations (e.g., possibly changing or closing operations in affected areas), and transferring business knowledge to key employees. Work closely with your local health officials to identify these triggers.
    • Plan to minimize exposure between employees and also between employees and the public, if public health officials call for social distancing.
    • Establish a process to communicate information to employees and business partners on your infectious disease outbreak response plans and latest COVID-19 information. Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.
    • In some communities, early childhood programs and K-12 schools may be dismissed, particularly if COVID-19 worsens. Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children if dismissed from school. Businesses and other employers should prepare to institute flexible work and leave policies for these employees.
    • Local conditions will influence the decisions that public health officials make regarding community-level strategies; employers should take the time now to learn about plans in place in each community where they have a business.
    • If there is evidence of a COVID-19 outbreak in the US, consider canceling non-essential business travel to additional countries per travel guidance on the CDC website.
      • Travel restrictions may be enacted by other countries which may limit the ability of employees to return home if they become sick while on travel status.
      • Consider canceling large work-related meetings or events.
    • Engage state and local health departments to confirm channels of communication and methods for dissemination of local outbreak information. When working with your local health department check their available hours.

    ALWAYS: Plan for Business Disruption ALWAYS: Plan for Business Disruption

    From the Small Business Development Center

    Common Disruptions

    • Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory, and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it.  See SBA’s capital access resources.
    • Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
    • Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
    • Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
    • Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance. Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
    • Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
    • Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
    • Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises

  • According to Jefferson County Human Services, individuals can call the number below to be connected with resources for the Foodshare program, energy assistance and more.

    1.888.794.5780


  • United Way - Utilize the 2-1-1 Service!

    United Way’s 211 information and referral service is preparing for increased call volume due to the pandemic. If you are in need of services, dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 to be connected to someone who can help. In anticipation of increased call volume, you can also access resources by clicking here to visit the 211 website.